The Norman Transcript

Religion

May 10, 2013

Q&A: Is abortion ever acceptable?

NORMAN — A soul loses its chance for freedom

Arvind Khetia, engineer and Hindu: In Hinduism, a human life is considered a great blessing.

Only through human life, with the help of one’s free will, can one choose to do good karma (actions) and attain the ultimate goal of human life, moksha (the ultimate freedom) and be united with the Divine.

Also, there is a deep awareness of the universal law of karma that states that every situation is a result of an unending chain of cause and effect.

Sooner or later, good or bad actions will invariably bring corresponding results.

Thus, Hinduism emphasizes responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions.

Therefore, the Hindu tradition advocates for moral and ethical behavior in all aspects of one’s life to cultivate spiritual awareness and respect for all life, as they are the manifestation of the same ultimate reality (Brahman).

The act of abortion deprives a soul of its chance to be born as a human, and consequently it loses its opportunity to continue its progress toward freedom.

Thus, an act of abortion is not seen as an appropriate choice unless there are overriding reasons.

One such reason is that one must always be mindful of the mother’s health and safety, as this always takes priority.

With spiritual awareness, one can choose the right action in any given situation and abide by one’s responsibilities (Dharma).

Allah made life sacred

Mohamed Kohia, Rockhurst University faculty, Muslim: In Islam, human life is considered sacred. It is completely prohibited to kill any human being (except in case of self-defense or as capital punishment).

The Quran clearly says: “Take not life which Allah has made sacred” (6:151). As to whether abortion is a form of killing, the Quran does not make explicit statements.

Only Surah 17:31 warns believers in general: “Kill not your children for fear of want, We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin.”

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